NFL Media draft expert Mike Mayock answered questions about the 2016 NFL Draft for 90 minutes on a teleconference Friday and went into extensive analysis of needs for teams and how those needs might be met. College Football 24/7 compiled a quick look at some of Mayock's commentary connecting specific players with specific clubs, not just for first-round picks but later rounds as well.
Could the defending NFC champions spend a first-round pick on a cornerback to replace Josh Norman? Mayock believes the draft's top four cornerbacks -- Jalen Ramsey, Vernon Hargreaves, Eli Apple and William Jackson III -- will likely be gone by the time the Panthers are on the clock with the No. 30 pick. If so, options include Miami's Artie Burns or Mackensie Alexander, but Mayock thinks GM Dave Gettleman could wait a round or two before attempting to fill the hole at CB.
It might be time for the Browns, who hold the No. 8 pick, to think about life without Joe Thomas. The outstanding left tackle, at 32 years old, could be an ideal mentor for Notre Dame's Ronnie Stanley or, if he happened to fall, Ole Miss' Laremy Tunsil. Mayock said the club might also be wise to entertain a Thomas trade. "He's 32 with a heavy salary, and he knows they're not winning any Super Bowls in the next couple years," Mayock said.
Mayock expects offensive tackles Laremy Tunsil, Ronnie Stanley and Jack Conklin to be off the board by the time the Lions pick at No. 16 overall. If so, Ohio State's Taylor Decker could be Detroit's answer, or Texas A&M's Germain Ifedi. If the Lions wait until the second round to take an offensive tackle, keep an eye on Indiana's Jason Spriggs or Texas Tech's Le'Raven Clark, who Mayock described as having "the wingspan of a pterodactyl." ... Mayock also sees Clemson DE Shaq Lawson as a potential fit for the Lions in the first round.
Although Ezekiel Elliott isn't likely to fall to Miami's pick at No. 13, Mayock believes the Dolphins would be thrilled if the former Ohio State running back did. If the Cowboys at No. 4 are the ceiling for Elliott's draft hopes, the Dolphins might be the floor. A cornerback could be Miami's play in the first round. Asked if No. 13 is too soon for Houston's William Jackson III or Ohio State's Eli Apple, Mayock said "not really, because there's going to be a run on corners in a little while."
New York Jets
If the Eagles choose to address their offensive line with a third-round pick (No. 79 overall) that will be their second pick of the draft. Possibilities include TCU's Halapoulivaati Vaitai, Auburn's Shon Coleman, and LSU's Jerald Hawkins. With Carson Wentz expected to be the club's choice with the No. 2 pick, some protection for that investment could be in order.
San Diego Chargers
San Francisco 49ers
Mayock believes the 49ers' No. 7 overall pick is "a little too rich" to take Memphis QB Paxton Lynch, but is unclear about how the club views its quarterback situation, given the Colin Kaepernick trade discussions. If the club uses a pick outside of the first round to add some competition at the position, three to watch for include Ohio State's Cardale Jones, Penn State's Christian Hackenberg, and Arkansas' Brandon Allen.
More draft possibilities, spanning all rounds, from Mayock: